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U.s. 33, Cia 14, John Brennan 12, Daniel AlarcÓn 8, Obama Administration 7, Us 7, Annie Correal 6, United States 6, Iran 6, Brennan 6, Syria 5, Colombia 4, Obama 4, Amrit 4, India 4, Mexico 4, Maher 4, Amy Goodman 4, Daniel D. Portado 3, Latin America 3,
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  WHUT    Democracy Now    Series/Special. Current  
   Events & News in the World  

    February 7, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00pm EST  

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02/07/13 02/07/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> i think it is a vital tool. i have been intimately involved with the condition u.s government has been involved in and i consider without a doubt it has been very successful as far as producing intelligence. >> as counter-terrorism czar john brennan heads to capitol today for his confirmation hearing to head the cia, we will look at his role in the government's secretive post-9/11
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rendition program. we will speak with amrit sing, author of the new report, "globalizing torture: cia secret detention and extraordinary rendition." >> the american public needs to know what its government did. grabbing people off the street, flying them to secret cia prisons to be locked up, shut out, held in detention and subjected to interrogation, and many instances that amounted to torture. >> then radio ambulante and the power of radio. >> we begin at the world's busiest border crossing in tijuana. it is rush hour and a mass exodus into the u.s., each with a particular mission and a baggage to prove it. summer caring suitcases, others carrying school books. >> an spanish-language radio program is showcasing compelling
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human stories from around latin america and the u.s. we will speak with daniel alarcón, author of, "lost city radio and annie correal. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration has agreed to show two congressional panels the stated legal rationale for assassinating u.s. citizens overseas. on thursday, the white house directed the justice department to release a controversial 2010 memo to the house and senate intelligence committees. the memo details the administration's legal justification for targeting the american-born cleric anwar al awlaki, who ultimately died in u.s. drone strike in yemen. the memo's release follows growing calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for access to the administration's guidelines for drone strikes and other attacks targeting u.s.
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citizens overseas. a bipartisan senate letter demanding the memos earlier this week had accused the white house of "practicing secret law." it also follows this week's leaking of a white memo that allows for the killing of americans through an expansive definition of what constitutes an imminent threat. at a news conference in washington, attorney general eric holder was asked what he is releasing the drone memos publicly after disclosing the torture memos of the bush years. >> your a driving force behind the releasing of the bush administration torture memos. what are you a force for this? >> we will have to look at this and see what it is we want to do with these memos. you have to understand we're talking about things that go into really kind of how we conduct our offensive operations against a clear and present danger to this nature.
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>> the release of the assassination memos to lawmakers was also announced on the eve of today's confirmation hearing for cia nominee john brennan, whom some have dubbed president obama's assassination czar. john brennan is expected to be questioned on a range of controversial issues, including the assassinations and his role in the bush torture program while at the cia. democratic senator ron wyden of the organs of u.s. citizens should be able to know why the u.s. has targeted them for assassination. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it is allowed to kill them. i don't think that's one person said that is too much to ask. this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, that you can have only one or the other is something i reject. we are going to have to begin the heavy lifting of the congressional oversight process by examining the legal underpinning of this program,
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and made very clear that i am going to push for more declassification of these key kinds of programs. i think we can do that consistent with national security. >> the senator has led the push for the white house to explain its rationale for targeting u.s. citizens and will be among the senators to question john brennan today. after suggesting he would consider filibuster in the nomination, he received a personal phone call from president obama wednesday night to inform him of the memo's release. tune in to "democracy now!" on friday for our coverage of the bernton hearings. the ability of u.s. government to jail people without charge or trial is back in court. a group including noam chomsky and chris hedges are suing the obama administration of the controversial provision in the meant national defense authorization detention of journalists who interact with certain groups. the justice department asked an appeals court to reveal a decision blocking the indefinite
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detention saying the ruling would hamper its ability to fight terrorism. the obama administration has already won an emergency freeze of the ruling of the case is appealed. plaintiffs, the pentagon whistle-blower, spoke outside the courthouse wednesday. >> we're trying to get people across the country to stand with us because this is a thin line between our most fundamental civil liberties. the ndaa rolls back our rights. it is really basic. if your for the as constitution, you should support our case. >> our constitution has been under assault for 10 years now. they said there were not torture anyone. now they're open toopenly proclaiming that. >> to hear our full interview with daniel ellsberg, go to democracynow.org.
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the main umbrella group for immigrant youth activists is calling for an immigration overhaul that goes beyond the bi-partisan proposals endorsed by president obama last week. on wednesday, the united we dream network announced it will call for citizenship to all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the u.s., not just the granting of legal status and not just to those who came to the country as children. many of the youth activists, known as streamers, have received temporary legal status under the obama administration measure for immigrants below the age of 31 brought to the u.s. at a young age. under their proposals, the dreamers are rejecting calls to link the granting of citizenship with border security benchmarks, and calling for the granting of residency to foreign-born partners in same- sex relationships. the dreamers issued their call one day after meeting with president obama and other progressive groups at the white house. obama reportedly rejected calls to ease his record-breaking deportations of undocumented immigrants.
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as the meeting took place, a group of dream activists interrupted house republicans' first congressional hearing on immigration reform, chanting "undocumented and unafraid." they were there to protest republican opposition to the dream act, focusing on darrell issa of california. >> [chanting] "undocumented and unafraid." >> this is not the way -- all of those must leave. >> the republican hearing comes as party leaders are floating a potentially softer stance on immigration in a bid to woo latino voters.
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house majority leader eric cantor announced for the first time this to to support a path to citizenship for undocumented youth. the obama administration announced an expansion of sanctions against iran. on wednesday, the treasury department said it would pressure countries buying iran's oil to withhold direct payments and instead force iran to purchase their goods. the treasury widened a sanctions list to include iranian media groups involved in state censorship. following the announcement, iran's top leader, ayatollah alcmene, announced his rejection of rejecting the recent call for direct talks with joe biden. top iranian leaders, including president ahmadinejad, had made favorable statements about the offer earlier in the week, but iranian president said they would do nothing to resolve u.s.-iran differences. iran also has released what it says is surveillance footage extracted from u.s. surveillance drone captured inside its borders in 2011. opposition activists in syria
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are claiming new civilian casualties in the latest attacks on rebel strongholds around the capital damascus. the syrian observatory for human rights says at least 55 people, including 19 civilians, have been killed and roughly 24-hour. since this regime of president bashar al-assad launched a new offensive on damascus suburbs. overall, the group says at least 141 people were killed nationwide on wednesday, including 36 civilians. at the u.n., a spokesperson for the office of court nation for humanitarian affairs said syria's catastrophic humanitarian crisis threatens to worsen ahead of the conflict's upcoming 2-year anniversary. >> we're almost at the two-year mark of the beginning of the conflict with the crisis deepening. we are issuing a warning if the violence continues unabated, and the short term we could see considerably more than the currently 4 million people in need of assistance and more than
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the currently estimated 2 million internally displaced. >> the royal bank of scotland has agreed to pay a $612 million fine in the united states and britain over its role in the manipulation of global interest rates. rbs becomes the third bank to pay fines of the libor scandal, which saw major companies taking part in fixing the benchmark for rates on trillions of dollars in transactions across the globe. the rigging of libor meant millions of borrowers paid the wrong amount on their loans. announcing the settlement, rbs chief executive apologize to the public. >> i am disgusted by this and hugely disappointed of the wrongdoing of 20 people in this institution. it is no excuse, but it was also across the industry. it is unacceptable in our industry. worse than that, in many respects, the culture of selfishness and self-serving,
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which this is an extreme example but an example, taints our whole industry. >> senate democrats have agreed to delay a vote on chuck hagel nomination as the next secretary of defense for it the senate armed services committee chair says the panel's vote will be moved until later in the month to address republican concerns. republican senators want hagel to disclose the texts of private speeches he's delivered as well as more and his financial ties. supporters say he is being targeted over his deviation from the party line on issues including israel and iran. sally jewell has been tapped to replace ken salazar as secretary of the interior. her work history includes stints as an oil services company executive and a commercial banker. she is also known as an avid campaigner for conservation in the outdoors. obama unveiled her nomination on wednesday at the white house. >> she is an expert on energy and climate issues that will shape our future. she's committed to building our
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nation to nation relationships. she knows the link between conservation and good jobs, and knows there is no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress. in fact, they need to go hand in hand. >> the bureau of land management has announced it's delaying an auction for drilling leases in colorado following a public outcry. leases for more than 20,000 acres in the north fork valley were set to go on the block this month, the residents organized a campaign raising environmental concerns, including the impact of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, on the quality of water and air. the boy scouts of america has delayed a decision on whether to end its longstanding ban on gay members and leaders. the ban was put up for review at a board meeting this week, the scout leaders now say the organization will decide at a national convention in may. you can go to democracynow.org for our interview with a leading
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campaigner against the ban, founder of the group scouts for equality. and those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. president obama is nominee to the cia, john brennan, is heading to capitol hill for his confirmation hearing today. obama's counter-terrorism czar is expected to be grilled on the administration's secret drone program and the assassination of u.s. citizens overseas. on wednesday, the obama administration agreed to show two congressional panels the stated legal rationale for the assassinations after democratic senator ron wyden suggested he would consider filibustering brennan's nomination. brennan will also likely be asked about his time at the cia during george w. bush's administration. four years ago, brennan was a rumored pick for the cia job when obama was first elected but was forced to withdraw from consideration amid protests over
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his public support for the cia's policies of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques and extraordinary rendition. in 2005, brennan said on pbs that he was " intimately familiar" with cases of rendition and that he considered the practice and absolutely vital tool in combating terrorism. this is the interview. >> was secretary rice today when she called it a vital tool in combating terrorism? >> i think it is absolutely vital tool. i have been intimately familiar for the past decade of cases of rendition u.s. government has been involved in, and i can say without a doubt it has been very successful as far as reducing intelligence and saving lives. >> you're saying both in the interests of the streets and in the interrogation? >> yes. rendition is the practice or process of rendering somebody from one place to another place. it is moving them.
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the u.s. will facilitate. >> why would you not -- if the of the suspect who is a danger to the u.s., why we do not keep them in u.s. custody? is it because we want another country to do the dirty work? >> i don't think that is it at all. i think it is rather arrogant to think that we're the only country that respects human rights. we have assurances from other countries that they respect human rights. let's say an individual goes to egypt because they are an egyptian citizen. egyptians have a long history dealing with them and have family members and others they can bring in to be part of the whole interrogation process. >> that was john brennan speaking to pbs in 2005. brennan's confirmation hearing comes as an affirmation is coming to light about the extent of the secret rendition program after the 9/11 attacks. a new report by the open society justice initiative names a least
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136 individuals who were allegedly subjected to secret detention and rendition. >> the report is called, "globalizing torture: cia secret detention and extraordinary rendition." it also identifies 54 foreign governments that aided the united states in these operations. the countries include afghanistan, albania, algeria, australia, austria, -- iran, ireland, italy, saudi arabia, united arab emirates, and zimbabwe. one cannot listed is in the approve the report is making headlines there, too.
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for more we're joined by the report's author, amrit sing, senior legal officer at the national security and counterterrorism program at the open society justice initiative. the full name of her new report is, "globalizing torture: cia secret detention and extraordinary rendition." she is co-author with jameel jaffer ar. interestingly, the new tour to report has become news in india, the headline in the times of india reads -- prime minister's daughter blows whistle on 54 nations that have u.s. detention program. another website headlines their story, pm's daughter takes on cia or torture. yes, our guest is the daughter of india's prime minister. let's talk about john brennan. he asked to capitol hill today for his confirmation hearing. you wrote a piece in the l.a. times. what you think he should be asked? what do you think of the
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nomination of john brennan to the head of the cia? >> i think he should be asked what he meant when he said he was intimately familiar with cases of rendition and rendition isn't absolutely vital tool in combating terrorism. because by that time he made that statement in december 2005, a number of people had been rendered to foreign governments where there were tortured. by december 2005, two had been rendered to egypt and subjected to electric shock. maher arar had been rendered to syria and subjected to being locked up in a tiny grid-like cell and the with cables. by december 2005, a number of other individuals, including our mastery, had been rendered. he was captured and kidnapped in macedonia and transferred to afghanistan and abuse. the recent court decision by the
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european court of human rights found that, azeris treatment amounted to torture. i think john brennan has a lot of explaining to do as to exactly what he meant. >> brennan said in the clip that the government sought assurances from the other countries to which these individuals are rendered that human rights would be respected. the your report clearly indicates that near blanket assurances are insufficient to deal with the kind of abuse that occurred here. >> that is correct. maher arar was transferred after assurances from the country were not going to talk -- after assurances from the country that he would not be torture that was tortured nonetheless. i think there is a wealth of information in the public domain that shows these diplomatic assurances do not work.
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high-level bush a ministration officials themselves acknowledge there's only so much you can do it once prisoners are out of your custody. the onus is on the obama administration to explain what its policy is and how it will work. >> what do you think of john brennan as president obama is nominee? >> i think as many questions to answer. i think rendition is a documented in this report from a source of great human rights violation. it damaged the reputation of u.s. around the world and coopted as many as 54 governments into torture programs. it is flagrantly illegal and requires a serious examination by the intelligence committee. >> i want to go to a clip of john brennan in 2006 when he appeared on "frontline" on pbs where he was questioned about the bush a ministration counterterrorism policies. >> the war will be a long one.
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-- the war against terrorism will be a long one. whether the iraq does not play by the queen's very rules. the u.s. has to take off the gloves and i think that is appropriate. i think we do have to take off the gloves in some areas, but in the right time, the right way, and for the right reason. with full understanding of what the consequences of that might be. >> this issue of john brennan's and the u.s. has to take off the gloves given the necessity of the fight against the war on terrorism. your response? >> i think that was a sentiment that was echoed across the bush administration. the report opens with a quote from vice-president dick cheney said we have to go to the dark side and was repeated by a number of counter-terrorism officials in the bush administration. i think -- the fact this report documents as many as 136 cases
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of human rights violations, including torture, demonstrates what that paradigm lead to. it was a paradigm that essentially ignored longstanding prohibitions against torture, that violated that all international but domestic law. >> i am interested in your report in the 54 countries mentioned some countries that most americans are not aware are cooperating. zimbabwe and iran. the particular case of iran's involvement in some of these renditions? >> there are a number of individuals that were captured in iran who were then handed over to afghan authorities as part of a prisoner exchange, but the iranians must have known at the time that the afghans would hand them over to the u.s. because of the ongoing hostilities in afghanistan. >> summarize the findings in your report. it is extremely extensive.
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was surprise to most as you did this research? what surprised you most as you did this research? >> the horrific abuse that was meted out by the u.s. and its partners to the human beings who were subjected to the operations. that stands out. but also, just the scale and sweep of these operations, the number of people who were put through this. and the number of governments that were coopted. of course the u.s. was the ringleader. this was the cia's invention, the moral responsibility does not rest with the nine states alone. it also rests with those 54 governments that were complicit in various ways. i should also add the u.s. leaving aside the damage to its moral reputation, the u.s. also exposed itself to liability and center worldwide. because now we are increasingly
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seeing foreign ports pass judgment, as in the case of a lesser, found the treatment of him was tortured. >> explain the story for those who don't know. this was an innocent guy on a bus in a case of mistaken identity? >> correct. khalidi the master was traveling on vacation in macedonia in 2003 and was abducted by macedonian officials acting at the direction of the cia. he was locked up, secretly detained for 23 days macedonian custody. then transferred to the cia in macedonia at the airport. the cia through him -- flew him and held him in secret detention for another four months. they did not allow him access to his family or attorney's critics they said he was subjected -- >> he was sodomized, subjected to a range of sexual humiliation
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and abuse, stripped naked. ultimately, after four months, was released without explanation, without apology and a roadside inn and albania. he was left to make his way home back to germany. khalidi masri has not received any apology or compensation from the u.s. government. >> early on, condoleezza rice understood this was a case of mistaken identity but continue to hold them because what would they do with him once he got out and told what happened to him? >> exactly. >> you raise a point in your l.a. times article, all of these people who were subjected to this kind of treatment, none has received any kind of compensation, the acknowledgement from the u.s. government, nor has the government sought to prosecute any of the officials that were involved or knowledgeable about the crimes that were committed here in terms of the attacks or the abuse of these folks. >> correct.
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there has virtually been no accountability in the u.s. for these abuses. a justice department investigation into abuses only looked at abuses that exceeded the abuse that its own office of legal counsel had authorized. we know from the office of legal counsel memos released in august 2009 by president obama said the administration there was a range of horrific and use the specifically authorize the bush administration. none of those officials have been held accountable to date. >> thank you, amrit sing, for joining us. on that list, very extensive list of 54 countries, india was not on the list. were you surprised by this? >> well, i mean, i am a researcher, a lawyer, i tell the truth. i documented what i found. i represented what the facts were, not mine -- i did the best
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-- >> what is amazing is we're talking about almost one-third of the countries in the world that were involved. >> one-quarter of the countries in the world. the state 195 department recognizes 195. >> what were the deals that were made? if countries come forth to say what they did? thee don't know all of facts with respect to each government, but we do know there were a number of bilateral agreements that were signed and was also a nato framework within which many of these agreements were executed. we know, for example, in poland there have been reports of agreements that was arrived at between the polish authorities
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and the united states. apparently, there was a document in poland for the signature of the polish official, but not the american official. the americans might have been more careful in not committing their signatures to writing. nonetheless, these were very secret operations that could not have been implemented without very high level of elevations from top government officials could >> does anyone sought to come clean and hold their officials responsible for maybe a prior administration in their country? >> is interesting that canada has apologized to maher arar for its involvement in his extraordinary rendition to syria. canada supplied faulty intelligence to the united states that led to the rendition of maher arar to syria. but by and large, most
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governments have not owned up to the truth. there is evidence in the public domain to suggest the united states has asserted diplomatic pressure on a lot of governments not to disclose information about this highly classified operation. >> do you think there should be war crimes trials in this country? >> i think there needs to be some measure of accountability. there has virtually been none. that is something that cannot stand. not only should officials be held accountable, there needs to be further disclosure about the extent of these operations, the victims, there needs to be an acknowledgement by the united states. if canada, apologize and compensate maher arar, why is it the united states, which was the principal ringleader and all of these operations, cannot issue a similar apology? not only to maher arar, but a number of victims like a lead el masri. >> thank you for being with us,
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amrit sing, senior legal officer at the national security and counterterrorism program at the open society justice initiative. the new report is called, "globalizing torture: cia secret detention and extraordinary rendition." we will have a link to it on democracynow.org. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> immigration reform is shaping up to be a top issue president of them a second term, but little attention is often played to the individuals at the center of the story. the millions of immigrants, many from latin america, who come to the u.s.. the stories often go i'm told. a new regular program is attempting to change that called radio ambulante, which gathers compelling stories told in spanish from around latin america and the u.s. using a network of journalists from around the hemisphere. the monthly program fills a gaping hole in the retail landscape for spanish speakers. the novelist daniel alarcón is the show's executive producer. >> in 2007 i wrote a novel about radio and the bbc asked me to do a documentary about the migration from the city i was
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born three hours really excited to do this. i was able to hear these amazing stories. a lot of the voices were translated into english. years later my wife and i decided to do something about it. >> we will be joined in a few minutes by radio ambulante's founder and producer, daniel alarcón, and producer annie correal it first, i want to turn to one of the stories from their show. it was read live to in recent public performance that takes place in tijuana, the world's busiest border crossing. producer ruxandra 3-d tells the story, which begins with her search for u.s. border guard named angelika desima. >> when i find her, she is a little nervous, wearing the official navy blue of customs and border protection. i've come to learn about what she does, what this border looks like to her. she must be baking beneath the sun.
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that english-speaking, we're still in mexico but there is no question who is in charge of this part of the border. anjali and i are facing u.s., behind us, the analyst roads of idling cars that extends into tijuana for it to the right, the long orderly line of pedestrians had the same direction. we walked a few steps behind another officer and guard zigzaging the way to the cars to san diego, the smoke and heat radiating from the engines is making me nauseous. then i hear one of the agents calling of the number 915, which is part of the reason for that traffic jam print that this code for human smuggling. a couple of other guards rushed past us. the guard leading the way, we race after them. we come to an car being driven by u.s. guards. the middle-aged man who was at
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the wheel is staring down at his feet on another park leads him away from the car in handcuffs. an interview with anjali had barely begun, and now this. >> you see this every day, people coming into the country hidden in the trunk and even specially built compartments. it is dangerous. >> to say it is dangerous is an understatement. it is a rectangular box rig to the undercarriage of his old car. solo to the -- so low to the ground, in must've been banged up sometimes along the drive. i am with angelika and a dozen other guards, gathered around the honda. everyone's eyes are on the trunk. one of the guards, a young latino guy with a heavy build and up like intense eyes,
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reaches into its and deeper still into the makeshift compartment underneath it. i stopped breathing for a moment and look around. we're all staring, shamelessly, as it tried to predict who or what will come out. the young guard grabs onto a hand ever so carefully and then pulls out the whole arm, then the shaking and sweaty body of a kid probably 15 or 16. he has indigenous features and a skinny, long body. he looks terrified. my heart sinks as we make a quick eye contact. he is not a single word, but then, what could he say? the engine of the car still running. smoke is right in our face. then the guard reaches in again and again and yet again. three more people come out of
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this tiny space, an absolute possible number of emerging from underneath his car. four people in all. a second young man and two young girls have no shoes, no id or bags of any kind, just bodies. scarcely a live, from the looks of them. who knows how long they have been stuck in traffic inside this wooden box? angelika seems to sensitized by all of this. >> i think i was more nervous than the driver. you are looking for it it is shocking the first time you actually find people in the trunk. >> this is my first time since some and a trunk and i felt nothing but helplessness, shame, and sadness. i know this happens every day at the border for many years, but it is different when you see it. >> often times when people have been in the trunk of a vehicle, especially on a hot day in the summertime, sometimes they can
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be in the vehicle for hours at a time. a thick, looking kind of like these folks. >> these folks are looking tired, hot, dehydrated, sometimes she tells me they're pulled out unconscious. so i try, of course i'm not allowed to talk to the girls and boys who have just been taken from the coffin compartment. they're lined up on the curb. they will not meet my gaze but moments later, they're taken away. i've worked on the border on and off for years, long enough to know as soon as they're sent back, the local all of their energy and whenever a little money they can get intercrossing again. because i've spoken of so many people on this side, men and women who have made the same crossing, i know this, too. if they keep trying, there are likely to make it. >> that was producer ruxandra khalidi, the new podcast radio ambulante. while there produced in spanish,
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that occasionally they are produced in english. we're joined by daniel alarcón, an acclaimed author, his most recent novel is "lost city radio." his a fellow in the investigative reporting program at uc berkeley school of journalism. we welcome you to "democracy now!" it is hard to put down "lost city radio" and i attended your event here in new york as you unveiled radio ambulante. first, explain why ambulante. >> it is, a street vendor, one who pushes the card, someone out on the streets selling. there are a lot of things we feel this symbolic and representative of the latino experience. you see them in every latin american city and u.s. city that has a sizable latino population.
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for us, it is a dynamic go better, on the streets and here's the stories of this neighborhood and his people. so when we return to think of a name, we went through maybe 300 names and this was one that -- that was one of the difficult parts of the process, what you're going in and your baby. >> which you are about half, your first baby. >> by first baby would be radio ambulante and in my second baby. it was a terrible process. when we hit on ambulante and the dynamic figure in the community who does not take no for an answer -- if you don't find work, you make work -- and we really liked that. we also tried to translate it into radio on the move. >> and the idea of just being able to tell the stories by radio, especially that particular medium, why you think is so important the stories out that way?
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>> radio is part of latin american life. the radio is on all the time and every last american household. also the new technologies have made radio or given way to a new life. it used to be if you did not hear it live, it it was gone. nole, archival. we can draw sounds from all over the world and push them back out so we can listen to 120 countries. we have downloads from all over the world. that is very exciting. in their right to, coming from the world of literature, radio is what most closely approximates having an author, a voice was bringing your year. the intimacy of radio is unparalleled. >> tell us about your novel, "lost city radio", how that fits in >> i see now that it fits in. my family is a radio family. my father was a radio announcer.
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then he went on to do other things. i've and uncles and cousins who have worked in radio all over peru. i sort of became obsessed with one program called "people finders" in peru. it was like a public bulletin board every sunday night for people to find their missing loved ones free of the it struck me as a symptom of this growing latin american cities from economic dislocation, political violence -- all of these forces moving people into these giant urban centers where they may not be a disconnect with their loved ones. i just took that show and created a universe around it. >> this one who becomes the voice of a nation, particularly around the disappeared. >> yes. and one particular story, the novel opens when a boy named victor who was around 11 years
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old shows up at the radio with a list of all of the people who has gone missing from his village. there's one particular name that shocks her. the story is how that name wound up on the list and the present tense, it is many a day, day and a half. they tell the story of how the name ended up on the list so the have to tell the history of the war itself. >> i want ask you, and your decision to get involved in this project and the emphasis on the border itself -- >> first if we could take a break, then we'll introduce our next guest and perhaps we will do it through her story. her story on radio. we will let you know her name when we come back this is "democracy now!" back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we continue our look at radio ambulante. let's turn to a radio report what our next guest, annie correal, who will be joining daniel alarcón. in this piece, she talks about how her father was kidnapped in colombia by members of the farc 1999. he was held in the jungle for nine months, later rescued in a military raid. there's a radio show there called "voices of kidnapping" that broadcasts to people who go missing. she and her family to go on the show every week to speak to their father. 10 years later she and a father returned to colombia to produce this piece about historic -- his story. >> right where i'm standing, the guy came from behind with a gun out screaming, "police! police''
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i tried to get into traffic but it was bumper-to-bumper. that is when they hit the window and pulled me out and threw me in the back seat with two as with the weapon. >> back in colombia was the kidnapping climate -- capital of the world. eight people a day. carjackings happen in bogota all the time and in plain view, like my dad's. >> i had in my mind it was not so close to the road, but it is right there. >> is at the first time you have been back to that spot? >> yes. >> as we sat at the spot or happen, he said if he had taken a left, it would have taken in 20 minutes to get home. >> instead, 8.5 months. 265 days. >>, that was kidnapped, i was in
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the states but my stepmom used to call into the radio show "voices of kidnapping" and try to get word out from our family. some of our messages action guthrie. when my father was rescued, he said he had a radio and listened for us obsessively. >> it was a black machine. it was a brand name that everyone knows, was something like cauliflower. it was the most reliable. i would wrap it really well with my clothing so it would not get damaged. >> although it was the military that ultimately got my dad out of the jungle, i think it was the radio that saved his life. a guard gave it to him at the first camp and he held onto it for most of his kidnapping. radios are not officially allowed, but they are passed around as contraband and guards usually turn a blind eye. the first six months to resolve
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captive by the farc, my dad was all alone and the radio was his only companion. >> it is really an exercise of patients -- patients to be away for 12, 13 hours and not being able to do anything. a >> when he first heard my stepmom talking to him over the radio, it was like a miracle. >> it was early in the morning and i was lying in bed with my radio. it said, this is a message for jamie correal. my heart stopped. she said, our kids are fine print she gave encouraging words. from then on, that was my lifeline. >> my dad would stuff all night listening to the show, but it was not easy. >> sometimes you do see station because we were deep in the jungle and there is a lot of clouds and you just go very
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softly china located again. then you don't want to move the radio. so you're in opera positions just listening. when they call your name and mentioned a name, your heart always counts. >> this is a written message from my family recorded 10 years ago when my dad was held captive. my stepmom made this tape is sent to the radius station, hoping he would hear it wherever he was. she calls him by his nickname lumpy. >> my lumpy ♪ from this moment life has begun ♪ >> she chose one of the favorite love songs for the message. [speaking spanish] she says every time she hears it she thinks of him intensely. she asks if he can imagine how much they will enjoy making up for lost time.
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then she introduces my little sister. >> [speaking spanish] >> a little sister says she hopes he comes back soon safe and sound. and that he will be very, very, very hungry so they will have his favorite, eggs and sausage, waiting for him read then my brother comes on. [ speaking spanish] >> he says he is the goalie on the school soccer team and has blocked a lot of shots. then he says he loves and misses sen. my stepmom says she is waiting for him and will always wait for him and he is a love of her life and she cannot wait it out where they left off in november. -- she cannot wait to pick up where they left off in november. >> the excerpt from "idam trader" featured on the american
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life by our guest annie correal, whose father was released after nine months, but thousands were never reunited with their families. she goes on to talk more about their struggles. we're also joined by daniel alarcón, who is the founder and executive producer of radio ambulante. >> annie correal, honestly most folks are not aware of the enormous impact of the continuing wars in colombia, not only civil war but the drug wars of the 1980's and 1990's, and the impact on colombian life as a money will come here to the u.s. innocence were fleeing what was going on in their own country. >> that is right. >> could you talk about your hope to get these stories out here in the united states? >> what we just listened to was my first radio story. it did have a much greater
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ripple of that than anything that i had done before. it was actually true that real peace that i was connected with daniel alarcón and his partner and i said, let's make a radio program that can reach this enormous population. but i think we also felt it was not just something that we wanted to make for the spanish- speaking population, but also something that would represent these really fascinating rich stories of like you said, some immigrants who had come here that often go untold. the reason for why they are here, for why they left their home country, that it is not always pull, sometimes it is push whether it is natural disaster of political violence. i think there is no lack of stories to be told. >> talk about discovering annie
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and how that so resonated with your project. >> it is uncanny. i was listening to the peace in the echoes between my novel and herpes are tremendous. -- i was listening to the piece and the echoes between my novel and her piece are tremendous. we finally said, we want to make this happen. we were one of the first -- one of the first people we contacted was annie. >> let's play another he's called, "the ballad of daniel d. portado." it revisits the political debate in california in 1994 over prop. 187 which was blocked
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undocumented immigrants to health care, education. a cartoonist named lalo alcaraz decided to make up a name and character to to win the debate pakistan was daniel d portado. >> i remember the day in the summer i was driving my friend to the airport because he lived in the bay area. i could feel in the pit of my stomach, we were talking about prop. 187 and how awful it was and all of the heat it generated and legitimized to some people -- the wanteds if th to make california so unpopular that would leave on their own. they decided to roll with this idea. first they came up with the fake group called hispanics for wilson.
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it was some militant, its members were willing to the poor themselves. >> that is where self deportation concept was born. >> is also how the fake leader of this organization was born. >> we had to come up with a name for the leader of this group. i don't know how it came to me, but this guy was -- had to be so staunchly anti-himself and myself hating, right-wing republican like herman cain or something like that, that his very name had to say honestly that he was deported, daniel d. portado. >> the root of a press release calling for the most outrageous things they could think of. the creation of self deportation center, so that all his bank's return to their country of origin. they denounced mexican food as biological weapons. >> we had 10k for a fun run into
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mexico where we give you a free pair of tennis shoes as long as you don't come back. >> the press release went on to pledge the group hispanics for wilson would retrain white- collar workers in agricultural, restaurant and hotel men's art, once all illegal immigrants were successfully removed from the country. they listed dr. daniel d. person.oas the contact they sent this fake press release out to real news agencies all across the state. it was dated september 16, 1994, coincidentally or not, the anniversary of mexico's independence day. >> part of radio ambulante podcast called, "the ballad of daniel d. portado." it features a cartoonist lalo alcaraz. >> that is where mitt romney got his idea about self deportation.
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>> that is the joke of the start of an outrageous idea to make fun of some crazy right-wing extremists and they make it part of their platform. >> where are you headed with this, daniel? you're a great novelist, now doing his reba podcast and radio show, hoping to do it monthly. >> reproduced our first season and ended it in december. we have done two live shows on the west coast, one in new york, trained journalists and six countries. we're starting our new season in march and will do a story a month. we of stories on human trafficking to argentina, we have stories on a community afflicted with blindness in peru. we have stories about a murder case in the central valley. we have stories from new york, florida, mexico. >> i have to cut you off, but i'm happy this will go on and we will be reporting on what you're
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doing. to do so much, daniel alarcón radio ambulante radio and annie correal, a producer and consulting editor with the program. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]